tv Nixon 1972 Presidential Acceptance Speech CSPAN July 10, 2016 10:00am-10:44am EDT
order of the day. ♪ >> each week until the 2016 election, wrote to the white house rewind brings archival coverage. next, richard nixon accepts his party's presidency nomination for a second term. united 72 republican national convention in florida. he compares the united states to what he saw on trips to the soviet union and china. in addition, the president mentions the vietnam war and says peace with honor. president nixon won the 1972 general election in a landslide over democratic nominee george mcgovern carrying 49 states,.
this speech is over 40 minutes, and our coverage is from nbc news. >> the president of the united states. [applause] mr. nixon: mr. chairman, delegates of this convention, my fellow americans, four years ago, standing in this very place , i proudly accepted your nomination for president of the united states. [applause] as well aselp millions of americans, we won a great victory that day. [applause] i again proudly accept your nomination as president of
the united states. [applause] let us get ourselves an even greater victory this november. [applause] i congratulate chairman ford and armstrong and hundreds of others who have laid the foundation by their work at this great convention. our platform is a dynamic program for progress for america and peace in the world. [applause] speaking in a very personal sense, i express my deep gratitude with attributes you have paid to the best campaigner
in the nixon family among my , my wife. [applause] in honoring her, you have honored millions of women across america who have contributed to the future so very much to better government in this country. again, as i did last night when i was not at the convention, i express the appreciation of all of the delegates, all america
it made us realize that this is the year when we can prove the expert predictions wrong because we considered our goal winning the majority of the new voters for our ticket. [applause] i pledge to you all of the new voters in america in front of their televisions and listening here, i will do everything i can over the next four years to make your support one that you can be proud of because i said to you last night and i feel it in my heart, i want you to look back wassay that your first vote one of the best votes you ever cast in your lives.
for the job four years ago. i think he is the best man for the job today, and i am not going to change my mind tomorrow. [applause] finally, as the vice president has indicated, you have demonstrated to the nation that we can have an open convention without dividing america. let us commit ourselves to root out every vestige of this commission in this country of ours. the way tomericans,
end discrimination against some is not to begin discovery nation against others. [applause] dividing americans is totally alien to the american traditions. americans don't want to be part of a quota. they want to be part of america. [applause] this nation proudly calls itself the united states of america. let's reject and a philosophy -- any philosophy that would make us the divided people of america. [applause] in that spirit, i address you tonight, my fellow americans, not as a partisan party, which would divide us, but as a
partisan of principles which can unite us. , our opponents at their convention rejected many of the great principles of the democratic party. to those millions who have been driven out of their home in the democratic party, we say, come home. we say, come home not to another home tout we say, come the great principles we americans believe in together. [applause] i ask you, my fellow americans, in aht to join us, not coalition held together only by a desire to gain power. i ask you to join us as members
of a new american majority bound together by our common ideas. [applause] listening to me tonight, democrats, republicans, independents, to join our new majority, not on the basis of ear inrty label you wa your lapel, but on the basis of what you believe in your hearts. i shall not dwell on the record of our administration, which has been praised perhaps too generously by others at this convention. we have made great progress in these past four years. it can truly be said that we have changed america and that america has changed the worldd. [applause]
as a result of what we have done, america today is a better place, and the world is a safer place to live in than was the case four years ago. we can be proud of that record, but we shall never be satisfied. a record is not something to stand on. it is something to build on. [applause] tonight, i do not ask you to join our new majority because of what we have done in the past. i ask your support of the principles i believe should be determine america's future. the choice in this election is not between radical change and no change. the choice in this election is between change that works and change that won't work. [applause]
i begin with an article of faith. it has become fashionable in recent years to point up what is wrong with what is called the american system. the critics contend it is so unfair, so corrupt, so unjust that we should tear it down and substitute something else in its place. i totally disagree. i believe in the american system. [applause] i have traveled to 80 countries in the past five years, and i
have seen communist systems come i have seen socialist systems, i have seen systems that are half socialist and half free. every time i come home to america, i realize how fortunate we are to live in this great and good country. [applause] every time i am reminded that we have more freedom, more opportunity, more prosperity than any people in the world, that we have the highest rate of growth than any investor nation, that americans have higher wages than any other country in the world, that our rate of inflation is less than that of any industrial nature, that the productivity of america's farmers has made it possible for us to launch a winning war against hunger in
the united states. [applause] and that the productivity of our farmers also makes us the best fed people in the world with the lowest percentage of the family budget going to food of any country in the world. we can be very grateful in this country that the people on welfare in america would be rich in most of the nations of the world today. [applause] in pointingericans, up those things, we do not overlook the fact that our system has its problems. our administration, as you know, has provided the biggest tax cut in history, but taxes are still too high. that is why one of the goals of our next administration is to reduce the property tax, which is such an unfair and heavy burden on the poor, the elderly,
the wage earner, the farmer, and those in fixed income. [applause] as all of you know, we have cut inflation in half in this ministry should -- this administration, but we must cut it further so we can continue to expand on the greatest the college men of our economic policy. for the first time in five years, wage increases in america are not being eaten up by price increases. [applause] as a result, the millions of new jobs created by our new economic policies, unemployment today in america is less than the of theime average 1960's, but we must continue the unparalleled increased
in new jobs. a job for every american who wants to work without war and without inflation. [applause] the way to reach this goal is to new road we have charted to move america forward, and not to take a sharp detour to the left, which would lead to a dead end of the hoax of the american people. -- hopes of the american people. [applause] athis points up one of the clearest choices in this campaign. our opponents believe in a different philosophy. whereis is the politics master planners in washington make decisions for people. ours is the politics of people, where people make decisions for
themselves. [applause] the proposal that they have made to pay $1000 to every person in america insults the intelligence of the american voters. [applause] because you know that every politician's promise has a price. the taxpayer pays the bill. the american people are not going to be taken in by any scheme where a government gives money with one hand and takes away with the other. [applause] their platform promises everything to everybody, but at an increased net in the budget of $144 billion, but listen to what it means to you, the taxpayers of the country. that would mean an increase of
50% in what the taxpayers of america pay. any new spending programs which will increase the tax burden on the already overburdened american taxpayer. [applause] and they have oppose legislation which would add 82 million people to the welfare rolls. i say that instead of providing incentives for millions of more americans to go on welfare, we need a program which will provide incentives for people to get off of welfare and get to work. [applause] we believe that it is wrong for anyone to receive more welfare
than for someone who works. let us be generous to those who can't work without increasing the tax burden of those who do work. while we are talking about welfare, let us quit treating our senior citizens in this country like welfare recipients. they have worked hard all their lives to build america. [applause] and as the builders of america, they have not asked for a handout. what they ask for is what they have earned, and that his retirement and dignity and self-respect. let's give that to our senior citizens. [applause] now, when you add up the costs of all of the programs our opponents proposed, you reach only one conclusion. systemuld destroy the which has made america number
one in the world economically,. listen to these facts. third of today pay one all of their income in taxes. adopted,programs were americans would pay over one half of what they earn in taxes. this means that if their programs are adopted, american wage earners would be working more for the government than they would for themselves. once we cross this line, we because theback incentive which makes the american economic system the most productive in the world would be destroyed. there is not a new approach. it has been tried before and countries abroad, and i can tell you that those who have tried it have lived to regret it. we cannot and we will not let them do this to america. [applause]
let us always be true to the principle that has made america the world's most prosperous nation. here in america, a person should get what he works for and work for what he gets. let me illustrate the difference in our philosophies. because of our free economic system, what we have done is build a great building of economic wealth and might in america. it is by far the tallest building in the world, and we are still adding to it. not because some of the windows are broken. they say tear it down and start again. we say, replace the windows and keep building. that is the difference. [applause]
let me turn now to a second area where my beliefs are totally different from those of our opponents. ago, crime is rising all across america at an unprecedented rate. even our nation's capital was called the crime capital of the world i pledge to stop the rising crime. . in order to keep that pledge, i promised in the election campaign that i would appoint judges to the federal courts and particularly to the supreme court who would recognize that the first civil right of every american is to be free from domestic violence. [applause] i have kept that promise. i am proud of the appoint its i have made to the courts, and particularly proud of those i made to the supreme court of the united states. [applause] tonight as i did
four years ago that whenever i have the opportunity to make more appointments to the courts, i shall continue to update judges who share my philosophy that we must strengthen the police forces against the criminal forces in the united peace forces against the criminal forces in the united states. [applause] all-outlaunched an offensive against crime, narcotics, permissiveness in this country, and i want the peace officers across america to know that they have the total backing of the president in their fight against crime. [applause] my fellow americans, as we move toward peace abroad, i ask you to support our programs which will keep the peace at home. [applause]
now, i turn to an issue of importance not only to this election, but for generations to come. the progress we have made in building the new structure of peace in the world. peace is too important for partnership. that have been five presidents in my lifetime. frank and the roosevelt, harry truman, dwight eisenhower, john f. kennedy, and lyndon johnson. they have differences on some issues, but they were united in that the security of theica or the peace world was involved, we are not republicans, we are not democrats i'm a we are americans ocrats, wet, -- dem are americans first, last, and always. [applause]
these five presidents were united in their total opposition of isolation for america and their belief in the interest of the united states and world peace require that america be strong enough and intelligent enough to assume the responsibilities of leadership in the world. they were united in the conviction that the united states should have a defense second to none in the world. they were all men who hated war and were dedicated to peace, but not one of these five men and no president in our history leave believed that america should ask an enemy for peace on terms that would betray our allies and disrespect united states around the world. [applause] as your president, i pledge that i shall always uphold that proud bipartisan tradition.
standing in this convention hall four years ago, i pledge to seek an honorable end to the war in vietnam. we have made great progress to that end. we have over half a million men home, and more will be coming home. we ended america's ground combat role. no draftees are being sent to vietnam. we reduced our casualties by 98%. we have gone the extra mile. in fact, we have gone tens of thousands of miles trying to seek a negotiated settlement to the war. we offered a cease-fire, a total withdrawal of all american exchange of all prisoners of war, internationally supervised free elections with communists participating in the elections and supervision's. there are three things that we have not and will not offer, however. we will never abandon our prisoners of war. [applause]
honor of the united states of america. [applause] that manyize particularly in this political year wonder why we insist on an honorable peace in vietnam. from a political standpoint, they suggest that since i was not in office when over half a million american members were sent there that i should and the war to agree like him and his government for the people of south vietnam and blame the whole catastrophe on my predecessors. this may be politics, but it will be disastrous to the peace in the world. if we betray our allies, it will discourage our friends abroad and encourage our enemies to in areas aggression like the middle east. small nations who rely on the friendship and support of the united states would be in jeopardy.
to our friends and allies in europe, asia, the middle east, , i sayin america i say the united states will continue its great bipartisan tradition to stand by our friends and never to desert them. [applause] in discussing vietnam, i have noted that in this election year, there has been a great deal of talk about providing amnesty for those few hundred americans who chose to desert their country rather than serve in vietnam. i think it is time we put the emphasis where it belongs, the real heroes are 2.5 million young americans who chose to serve their country rather than desert it. [applause]
i say to you tonight, in these times, when there is so much of a tendency to run down those who have served america in the past and serve it today, let us give those who serve in our armed forces and those who have served in vietnam the honor and the respect that they deserve and that they have earned. [applause] finally, let one thing be clearly understood in this election campaign.
the american people will not tolerate any attempt by our enemies to interfere in the cherished right of the american voter to make his own decision with regard to what is best for america without outside intervention. [applause] it is understandable that vietnam is going to be a major concern and foreign policy, but we have not allow the war in vietnam to paralyze our capacity , to initiate historic new policies, to conduct the last for a just peace in the world. i believe it will be recorded that our most significant contributions to peace resulted from our trips to moscow.
thedialogue we have begun, people's republic of china has reduced the danger of war and increased the chance for peaceful cooperation between two great people. of four yearsce in our relations with the soviet union, we have moved from androntation to negotiation then to cooperation in the interest of peace, we have taken the first step in limiting the nuclear arms race. we have laid the foundation for further limitations on nuclear weapons. thetually, reducing armaments in the nuclear area. weekend thereby reduce not only the enormous cost of arms for both our countries, but we can increase the chances for peace. more than on any other single issue, i ask you, my fellow americans, to give us the chance
to continue these great initiatives that can contribute so much to the future of peace in the world. [applause] it can truly be said that as a result of our initiatives, the danger of war is less today than it was. the chance for peace is greater. we cannot be complacent. our opponents have proposed massive cuts in our defense budget, which would have the inevitable effect of making the united states the second strongest nation in the world. for the united states unilaterally to reduce its strength with the naive hope the other nations would do likewise would increase the danger of war in the world.
it would completely remove any incentive of other nations to agree to a mutual limitation or reduction of arms. the promising initiatives we have undertaken, to limit arms would be destroyed. the security of the united states and all the nations in the world who depend upon our friendship and support would be threatened. let's look at the record of defense expenditures. we have cut spending in our administration. it now takes the lowest percentage of our national product in 20 years. we should not spend more on defense than we need, but we must never spend less than we need. [applause] what we must understand is spending what we need on defense will cost us money. spending less than we need could cost us our lives or our freedom. [applause]
tonight, my fellow americans, i say, let us take risks for peace, but let us never risk the security of the united states of america. [applause] it is with that reason that i put that we will continue to any mutual reduction of arms. the u.s. will always have a defense second to none. there are those who believe we can entrust the security of america to the goodwill of our adversaries, and those who hold this view do not know the real world. we can negotiate limitation of arms, and we have done so. we can make agreements to reduce
the danger of war, and we have done so. but one unchangeable rule of international diplomacy that i learned over many years is that negotiations between great powers, you can only get something if you have something to give in return. that is why i say tonight, let us always be sure that when the president of the united states goes to the conference table, he never has to negotiate from weakness. [applause] there is no such thing as a retreat to peace. americans, we stand today on the threshold of one of the most exciting and challenging eras in the history
of relations between nations. we have the opportunity in our time to be the peacemakers of because the world trusts and respects us, and because the world knows that we shall only use our power to defend freedom, never to destroy it. to keep the peace, never to break it. . it is the guardian of peace. we can reduce the danger of arms as well as the danger of war which hangs over the world today. even more important, it means that the enormous creative energies of the russian people and the chinese people and the american people and all the great people's of the world -- of the world can turn away from production of the war and turned to production of peace.
in america, it means we can undertake programs for progress at home that will be just as exciting as the great initiatives we have undertaken in building a new structure of peace abroad. my fellow americans, the peace that we hear so much about has too often been described solely in monetary terms. how much money we can take out of the arms budget and apply to our domestic needs. ,y far, the biggest dividend however, is that achieving our goal of a lasting peace in the world would reflect the deepest hopes and ideals of all of the american people. speaking on behalf of the american people, i was proud to be able to say in my television address to the russian people in may, we covet no one else's
territory. we seek no dominion over any other nation. we seek peace, not only for ourselves, but for all people of the world. [applause] this dedication to idealism runs through america's history. during the tragic war between the states, in him lincoln was asked -- abraham lincoln was asked whether god was on his side. concern is noty whether god is on our side, but --ther god is on our side
but whether we are on god's side." we hold the future of peace in the world and our own future in our hands. let us reject the policies of those who wine and whimper about our frustrations. let us not turn away from greatness. the chance america now has two lead a lasting peace in the world may never come again. inh faith in god and ourselves and our country, let us have the vision and the courage to seize the moment and meet the challenge before it slips away. [applause] screen lastvision cemetery isaw the visited on my trip to the soviet union, where 300,000 people died
in the siege of that city during world war ii. at a cemetery, i saw the picture of a 12-year-old girl. she was a beautiful child. her name was tonya. i read her diary. it tells the terrible story of war. and the simple words of a child, ths ofote of the dea the members of her family. granny in january. .han her uncle then mama in may. finally, these were the last words in her diary. dead, only tanya is left." let us think of tanya and the
brothersyas and the and sisters everywhere in russia, china, america. i ask you, my fellow americans, notoin our new majority, just in the cause of winning an election, but in achieving a hope that mankind has had since the beginning of civilization. ace thatuild a pe our children and all children of the world can enjoy for generations to come. [applause] ♪
>> road to the white house rewind continues now with george mcgovern accepting his party's presidential nomination at the 1972 democratic national convention in miami beach, florida. in his speech, the south dakota senator criticizes president richard nixon's policies on vietnam and calls for more transparency in government. senator mcgovern lost to richard nixon in the general election in a lopsided contest, with the president taking 49 states. this speech is just over 40 minutes, and i were coverage is from the nixon presidential library and museum. , tohairman o'brien